Coloring food with artificial dyes is a long time practice of food manufacturers to make their food products more appealing to consumers. Children are especially targeted with bright color foods to increase their desire for unhealthy food products.
Recently, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), released a report that accuses The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for “failing to protect children” from the disturbing behavioral problems caused by artificial food dyes. Even though evidence of the dangers to children from artificial food dyes has continued to mount since 2011, the CSPI says the FDA’s continued inaction is disturbing. Since the 1970s, researchers has been studying the potential link of artificial food coloring to the rise in rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
In contrast, since 2010, the European Union has require warning labels for various food dyes. Certain studies indicate that children are eating very significant amounts of food dyes in their daily diets. A recent study conducted by Dr. Ameena Batada of the University of North Carolina and the CSPI found that more than 90% of child-oriented candies, fruit-flavored snacks, and drink mixes and powders are artificially colored. It also showed that a majority of child-oriented foods made by such companies as Kraft, PepsiCo, and General Mills are dyed with artificial colors.
The CSPI’s report, titled Seeing Red, says in order to protect children, the FDA should:
(1) Ban synthetic dyes in foods and beverages since they do not meet the legal safety standard. Companies that wish to use a synthetic dye in food must submit convincing evidence showing that the dye is safe and does not cause adverse behavior.
(2) As an interim measure, require warning labels on dyed foods stating:
“WARNING: This food contains synthetic food colorings that may impair the behavior of some children.”
(3) Update information on the FDA website and in other materials to accurately inform the public that food dyes can impair the behavior of some children.
PARENTS AND CHILD CARE PROVIDERS !!!! Take precautions to avoid feeding children any food products containing artificial food dyes. READ FOOD PRODUCT LABELS CLOSELY. Read food product labels closely to see if any artificial colors or artificial dyes are listed. Avoid products containing artificial food colors and dyes whenever possible.